Constance Talmadge: American actress (born: 1898 - died: 1973) | Biography, Filmography, Facts, Information, Career, Wiki, Life
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Constance Talmadge
American actress

Constance Talmadge

Constance Talmadge
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American actress
A.K.A. Constance Alice Talmadge
Was Actor Film actor Film producer
From United States of America
Field Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender female
Birth 19 April 1898, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA
Death 23 November 1973, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA (aged 75 years)
Star sign Aries
Mother: Margaret Talmadge
Siblings: Norma TalmadgeNatalie Talmadge
star on Hollywood Walk of Fame  
The details (from wikipedia)


Constance Alice Talmadge (April 19, 1898 – November 23, 1973) was an American silent film star. She was the sister of actresses Norma and Natalie Talmadge.

Early life

Talmadge was born on April 19, 1898 in Brooklyn, New York, to poor parents, Margaret L. "Peg" and Frederick O. Talmadge. Her father was an alcoholic, and left them when she was still very young. Her mother made a living by doing laundry. When a friend recommended Talmadge's mother use older sister Norma as a model for title slides in flickers, which were shown in early nickelodeons, Peg decided to do so. This led all three sisters into acting careers.


On the cover of Photoplay magazine, 1919

She began making films in 1914, in a Vitagraph comedy short, In Bridal Attire (1914). Her first major role was as the Mountain Girl and Marguerite de Valois in D.W. Griffith's Intolerance (1916).

Griffith re-edited Intolerance repeatedly after its initial release, and even shot new scenes long after it was in distribution. Grace Kingsley found Talmadge in her dressing room at the Fine Arts Studio, in Los Angeles, in the midst of making up for some new shots.

"Did you really drive those galloping brutes of horses?" asked Kingsley.

"Indeed I did," said Talmadge. "Two women sat behind me at the Auditorium the other night. They said, 'Of course she never really drove those horses herself. Somebody doubled for her.' Know what I did? I turned around and told them, 'I wish I could show you my knees, all black and blue even yet from being cracked up against the dashboard of that chariot!'"

Drawing of actress Constance Talmadge by Treichler, page 40 of the December 1921 Screenland.

So popular was Talmadge's portrayal of the tomboyish Mountain Girl, Griffith released in 1919 the Babylonian sequence from Intolerance as a new, separate film called The Fall of Babylon. He refilmed her death scene to allow for a happy ending.

Her friend Anita Loos, who wrote many screenplays for her, appreciated her "humour and her irresponsible way of life". Over the course of her career, Talmadge appeared in more than 80 films, often in comedies such as A Pair of Silk Stockings (film) (1918), Happiness à la Mode (1919), Romance and Arabella (1919), Wedding Bells (1921 film) (1921), and The Primitive Lover (1922).

Constance Talmadge (1923)

Talmadge, along with her sisters, was heavily billed during her early career. According to her 1923 Blue Book of the Screen biography, she was "5'5" tall, 120 lbs, with blonde hair and brown eyes, ... an outdoor girl who loved activities."

When Talmadge was asked by a writer for Green Book magazine what sort of stories she wanted to do in 1920, she said: "Although no less than sixty manuscripts are submitted to me every week, it is exceedingly difficult to get exactly the kind of comedy I especially want. I want comedies of manners, comedies that are funny because they delight one’s sense of what is ridiculously human in the way of little everyday commonplace foibles and frailties – subtle comedies, not comedies of the slap stick variety."

"I enjoy making people laugh. Secondly, because this type of work comes easiest and most naturally to me, I am not a highly emotional type. My sister could cry real tears over two sofa cushions stuffed into a long dress and white lace cap, to look like a dead baby, and she would do it so convincingly that 900 persons out front would weep with her. That is real art, but my kind of talent would lead me to bounce that padded baby up and down on my knee with absurd grimaces that would make the same 900 roar with laughter.

"You see, in my way, I take my work quite as seriously as my sister does hers – I would be just as in earnest about making the baby seem ridiculous as she would about making it seem real. I am not fitted to be a vamp type. There is nothing alluring, or exotic, or erotic, or neurotic about me. I could not pull the vamp stuff to save my life, but if I am assigned a vamp role in a comedy, and I had such a part in my fourth First National picture, In Search of a Sinner. I play it with all the seriousness and earnestness and sincerity with which a real vamp would play it, except that I, of course, over-emphasize all the characteristics of the vampire. I try to handle a comedy role much the same way that a cartoonist handles his pencils. If he is drawing the picture of the late Theodore Roosevelt, with a few strokes he emphasizes Teddy’s eye-glasses and teeth, leaving his ears and nostrils and the lines of his face barely suggestive. One must leave a great deal to the imagination on the screen, because in the span of one short hour we sometimes have to develop a character from girlhood to womanhood through three marriages and two divorces, and perhaps travel half way round the world besides; so, like the cartoonist, I try to emphasize the salient characteristics, which, of course, in my particular work, bring out the humorous side of the person I am portraying."

With the advent of talkies in 1929, Talmadge left Hollywood. Her sister Norma did make a handful of appearances in talking films, but for the most part the three sisters retired all together, investing in real estate and other business ventures. Only a few of her films survive today.

Personal life

Norma and Constance Talmadge

She was married four times; all the unions were childless:

  • Her first marriage, to John Pialoglou (1893-1959), a Greek tobacco importer, occurred in 1920 at a double wedding with Dorothy Gish and James Rennie; she divorced Pialoglou two years later. Her marriage to him, a Greek subject, caused her to lose her natural-born U.S. citizenship; following her divorce, she had to apply for U.S. naturalization.
  • She married Scottish soldier Alastair William Mackintosh (grandfather of author Edward St Aubyn) in February 1926, divorcing him in 1927 on grounds of adultery.
  • She married Townsend Netcher in May 1929, divorcing in 1939.
  • She married Walter Michael Giblin in 1939. This marriage lasted until his death on May 1, 1964.

Talmadge's mother fostered the belief she might one day return to films. “Success and fame cast a spell that can never been quite shaken off,” her mother pointed out in her autobiography. “A woman, because of her love, may say, and in the fervor of the moment believe, that she is ready to give up her chosen work. But there is sure to come a time when keen longing and strong regret for her lost career dominate over the more placid contentments of love and marriage. Then unhappiness and friction ensue.”

She died of pneumonia. Along with her sister Norma, Mary Pickford, and Douglas Fairbanks, Talmadge inaugurated the tradition of placing her footprints in concrete outside Grauman's Chinese Theater. She left a trail of five footprints in her slab.

Her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is at 6300 Hollywood Blvd.


Advertisement promoting films with Norma Talmadge and Constance Talmadge, on page 9 of the December 25, 1920 Exhibitors Herald.
Short Subject
Year Film Role Notes Status
1914 Buddy's First Call Grace Forster
The Maid from Sweden Marie Cook
Our Fairy Play Helen Payne - the Actress
The Moonstone of Fez Winifred Osborne
Uncle Bill Gladys
Buddy's Downfall Lily - the City Flirt
The Mysterious Lodger Lucy Lane
Father's Timepiece Marjorie Stillwell
The Peacemaker Kitty Grey
The Evolution of Percival Mildred
In Bridal Attire Mary
Fixing Their Dads Florence
The Egyptian Mummy Florence Hicks
Forcing Dad's Consent Connie Boggs
1915 In the Latin Quarter Manon Incomplete
Billy's Wager Connie
The Green Cat Constance
The Young Man Who 'Figgered Nan Tubbs
Burglarious Billy Nellie
A Study in Tramps Mary Stretch
The Master of His House Mrs. Greene
The Lady of Shalott Minor Role
The Boarding House Feud Connie Drexel
The Vanishing Vault Connie
Spades Are Trumps Ella Cunningham
Bertie's Stratagem Letty Grey
Insuring Cutey Cutey's Bride
Billy the Bear Tamer Constance
A Keyboard Strategy Mrs. Walter Gibson
Can You Beat It? Dill - Pike's Wife
Beached and Bleached
The Little Puritan Corinne
1916 The She-Devil
The Matrimaniac Marna Lewis
Year Title Role Notes Status
1915 Captivating Mary Carstairs Bit Part Uncredited
Georgia Pearce
1916 The Missing Links Laura Haskins Lost
Intolerance Marguerite de Navarre / The Mountain Girl Extant
The Microscope Mystery Jessie Barton
1917 A Girl of the Timber Claims Jessie West
Betsy's Burglar Betsy Harlow
The Lesson Helen Drayton
Scandal Beatrix Vanderdyke
The Honeymoon Helen Drayton
1918 The Studio Girl Celia Laird
The Shuttle Bettina Vandepoel
Up the Road with Sallie Sallie Waters Extant
Good Night, Paul Mrs. Richard Extant
A Pair of Silk Stockings Mrs. Molly Thornhill Extant
Sauce for the Goose Kitty Constable
Mrs. Leffingwell's Boots Mrs. Leffingwell
A Lady's Name Mabel Vere Incomplete
1919 Who Cares? Joan Ludlow Lost
Romance and Arabella Arabella Cadenhouse
Experimental Marriage Suzanne Ercoll
The Veiled Adventure Geraldine Barker
Happiness a la Mode Barbara Townsend
A Temperamental Wife Billie Billings
A Virtuous Vamp Gwendolyn Armitage / Nellie Jones Also produced Extant
1920 Two Weeks Lillums Blair Extant
In Search of a Sinner Georgianna Chadbourne
The Love Expert Babs Also produced Extant
The Perfect Woman Mary Blake
Good References Mary Wayne Extant
Dangerous Business Nancy Flavelle Lost
1921 Mama's Affair Eve Orrin Extant
Lessons in Love Leila Calthorpe
Wedding Bells Rosalie Wayne Lost
Woman's Place Josephine Gerson Extant
1922 Polly of the Follies Polly Meacham Also produced Lost
The Primitive Lover Phyllis Tomley Also produced Extant
East Is West Ming Toy Also produced Extant
1923 Dulcy Dulcy Lost
The Dangerous Maid Barbara Winslow Extant
1924 The Goldfish Jennie Wetherby
Her Night of Romance Dorothy Adams Also produced Extant
In Hollywood with Potash and Perlmutter Herself
1925 Learning to Love Patricia Stanhope
Seven Chances Girl in Car Uncredited Extant
Her Sister from Paris Helen Weyringer / La Perry Extant
1926 The Duchess of Buffalo Marian Duncan Also produced Extant
1927 Venus of Venice Carlotta Also produced Incomplete
Breakfast at Sunrise Madeleine Also produced Extant
1929 Venus Princess Beatrice Doriani
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 29 Nov 2021. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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